Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rice cooker

Showing off our new rice cooker, I love it.

We have been having perfect and fresh rice all the time now, it is very handy. We make rice at the end of the morning and eat it throughout the day. Tara usually makes it, it is very easy to start.

I have always wondered about a rice cooker, but never was convinced I needed one. There was a thread about it on an email list I am on, which made me decide to take the plunge. Some research made it clear that I couldn't go wrong with any of the Zojirushi rice cookers. Some more research helped me decide to get the 10 cups one with an induction heating system. Cool technology and perfect rice.

Yes, this gets a full thumbs up from me. Makes enough rice for a large family, and the 'keep warm' function is just very convenient. It is so much easier to just stir fry a few veggies and tofu and have the rice ready to eat.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Finally managed to get ourselves a First To Find on a geocache again. It was not an easy cache to solve, it was a puzzle cache , so first needed to figure out coordinates by solving an evil puzzle.

On Friday afternoon, we went out and found the cache, the first local cachers to do so! Woohoo! It was a nice hike through deep snow in a winterwonderland. Not a very far hike, but enough to get a good workout.

Today, I finally finished the Vermont Delormes challenge, I found the final cache. Snow was deep up there too, wow. Not a far hike, but a very snowy one!

Quote of the Day

Sylvia 'Next time, *I* want to be Miss Frizzle!'

Do you think she has been watching too much Magic Schoolbus? ^^ She LOVES that show, wants to watch it every single night. She never was interested in tv at all, till she discovered the Magic Schoolbus.

I will go out geocaching today, wrapping up the Delorme Challenge. We have glorious weather, will be fun!

Quote of the Day

Sylvia 'Try using gravity to fall down!!!'

and yesterday 'See mama, I jumped, and I did not use gravity!'

The joys of gravity and anti-gravity.

Monday, February 26, 2007


What a fun day we had yesterday. Well, apart from the fact that I had to get up at 4:30am ^^ The upside of that was the nice sunrise I witnessed while driving through Vermont.

Met my friends in Montpelier at 6am, and off to Montreal we went. The border went smoothly, go obviously is a better reason to cross the border than geocaching is :)

Great tourney, three slow games, I won two, and lost one, not bad. After the tourney, we went to a fabulous Chinese , vegetarian restaurant. Only one word to describe it. Wow!

Great go, great company, great food. How much better can it get?

I came home at 12:45am, and like any sane person, I did NOT go to bed, but logged on to the go server to show off my games and see what was going on. The coffee i drank around 10pm might have helped, because I never drink coffee, so it has a HUGE effect on me. Didn't want to fall asleep driving back home.

Yes, it was a wonderful day, maybe should do this more often :)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Drive By Posting

So much to tell, so little time ^^

We had a FTF on a cache yesterday, woohoo! I have nice pics, will post them after the weekend. Talking about caching, Cynthia, email me with your cache coords and I'll check them for you.

Decided to go to Montreal tomorrow, for a go tournament. I am very much looking forward to it!!! I am sure it will be easier to get into Canada for go, than it is for geocaching, right? ^^ One can hope.

I have walked every day since I started on Monday, and I can feel the effects already. I love it!

The new rice cooker is great, but bigger review will have to wait till after Montreal.

Tara baked cookies today, they turned out well. I still really enjoy having kids old enough to do things like that.

Back to tourney preparation!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

Today, I was getting ready to take a shower, after all the walking and hiking I did. I told Sylvia 'I am going to take a shower, because I am dirty.'
She starts with 'Ok!', then looks at me more closely 'Your clothes aren't dirty, mama. Don't take them with you into the shower!'

OK, I'll take a shower without my clothes ^^

Today, my very first ever rice cooker arrived, it is cooking some jasmine rice right now. We all are excited about it. Looking forward to taste testing the first batch.

Love is...

Love is taking good care of your pets and having fun playing with them.

They love being held and cuddled, they make very cute sounds when you do this.

They like to explore and meet people.

They are curious and smart little creatures.

But no, I am still NOT going to let the males and females play together, however much my kids would like them to have babies again.

Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Promise of Spring

Today is such a nice and sunny day. I went out on my daily walk (yeah!!!) and I didn't even wear a coat. It is not freezing anymore, and I never felt cold. Well, my hands did, but who cares ^^

Walking was so much fun, I went out and I felt like I was almost bouncing with excess energy. Nice to burn some of it outdoors, in the sun. I can feel already that I was more than ready to resume daily walking. Even after three days of it, it is making a difference.

Back to go studying, and soon off to aikido training.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Finally got myself back to walking. Thanks to a gentle reminder on the go server, of all places, I pulled myself together and did my daily walk. I will walk every day from now on.

And yes, I had to choose a day that the wind chill is -21 C, but that just meant I walked a bit faster to stay warm ^^

It was great, it has a calming influence on me, which I can definitely use. Thank you, Suk, for reminding me of the wonderful benefits of daily walking. I still remember how good I felt when I was in the habit of doing this. Somehow life and my broken leg got in the way, but finished with those excuses now. Walks will happen!

The Joys of Colds

A cold has been making its rounds through the members of our family.

Yesterday, Sylvia's nose was running, and she kept coming up to me, to wipe her nose on my clothes... I told her 'Um... I am not a tissue, you know.' She sweetly replied to me 'I know! I just want to wipe my nose!'


Wait a Minute!!!!

This morning, Sylvia said 'Kate can go first!'
I was surprised, usually both of them want to be first to do anything desirable.
I told Sylvia 'Wow Sylvia, I am impressed you let Kate go first, you are really growing up!'
A few moments of silence, while she pondered this.
Until she pops up with 'Wait a minute!!!'
Me 'Hmmm?'
Followed by 'I am NOT a grownup!!!'

I tried to explain the concept of growing up to her, and she ended with an 'ok', but I am not sure she was totally convinced of my reasoning.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year!

Today is the first day of the lunar new year. Yesterday, we did a small celebration at go club. I brought dumplings and spring rolls (shamefacedly admitting that they were store bought, not homemade), and my friend brought sublime sweet rice cakes. We brought some other goodies and had a great time while studying go.

Today, we are going to visit good friends and have fun sledding on their hills. Good to spend the new year with friends, since all our family is so far away.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Live Blizzard Blogging: The Aftermath

Sylvia quote 'My hand got freezed!' when she came indoors from playing in the snow.

What sidewalk?

Snow fort fun.

Erik couldn't find his snow pants, so used Cees's...
And yes, of course Erik's snow pants where in the middle of the hallway floor, but he still couldn't find them. Typical male!

Quote of the Day

Sylvia, after peeing, surprised and a bit annoyed 'I don't have an undie in here!!' (She had put on her own pants yesterday, but not included her underwear)
She went and got an undie 'I will take this one, because it is cute!'
She put it on all by herself! 'I can do it myself now!'
Then ran into trouble putting on her pants 'It is not working!!!!'

Still amazing how independent she is getting, won't be long till she can do the pants herself too. They grow up so fast!

Yesterday, she proudly put on her own socks. And took them off. And put them on. And took them off. And put them on. Over and over :)

Quote of the Day

Sylvia, running into the room 'I want a hug!'
Me, sitting at the computer 'Sure, I'll give you one.'
Sylvia, changing her mind 'No!!! I do NOT want a hug.'
Me 'Awww, but I love to give you hugs!!!'
Sylvia, reconsidering 'OK, you can give me one. Just one.'

Hugging happens and we do mushy stuff like 'I love hugging you' and Sylvia starts singing 'I know you love me, because you drive me to go club. And we go caching and I can find the cache.' She sings it in a nice voice, such a cute and sweet song!

Didn't last long, she jumped off and went back to playing. But hey, at least I got my one hug ^^

Happy Love Friday :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Live Blizzard Blogging: The Final

Today is a beautifully, sunny day. It would be The Perfect Winter Day, apart from the fact that we have more than 2 feet (60 cm) of snow and the wind chill is around -20 C.

It took dh quite some time to uncover his car and dig through the HUGE pile of snow the snow plough left at the bottom of our driveway.

My van won't be going anywhere any time soon, it will take a few days to dig out the driveway.

Today is go club, will have to figure out another way to get there, or use cheap slave kids labor to find the driveway. But even with all the kids working there, it will take more than a few hours, there just is sooooooooooooooooooo much snow.

The kids have been having fun outside, although they don't last too long. It is cold, and the snow just is DEEP.

Well, that was fun, now I am ready for SPRING! Snow, melt already!

Nobody has found our evil 'micro under the snow' cache yet.

But hey, we DID get our UPS delivery, so the broken kids computer can get fixed. This delivery was supposed to happen yesterday, but for some reason, the blizzard was interfering.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is ...

Love is ... taking care of your little sister in the middle of a raging blizzard.

Helping her get up the driveway when she insists on walking by herself.

Carrying her when she realizes that the snow is deep and her legs are short.

Happy Love Thursday!

And the Snow Keeps Coming Down

It is dark, so can't make a lot of pics. But this shows off pretty well how deep the snow is getting.

At least two feet deep now and snow still furiously coming down.

Yesterday, we decided to hide a micro cache in preparation for the snow storm. We now present our Valentine's Day present to the Vermont geocaching community! Trying to find a micro under a few feet of snow is going to be interesting at least. It's our revenge for the evil cache we did a few days ago :)

Live Blizzard Blogging

Up to more than a foot now, and snow fall has gone from steady to heavy now. DH's office closed and he came home early, driving conditions were pretty bad.

All those pictures were taken between now and my last post.

The kids had fun sledding

Until it was time to shovel some of the driveway when dh came home.

It took Cees and dh quite a while to clear enough space to park his car.

It was very cold, so they didn't last long. It was not easy for Sylvia to walk back on the driveway.

The boys delivered Sylvia back inside, while they spent some more time sledding.

Sylvia decided that she'd rather watch from inside the house, just like her mom ^^

Looks like we will end up with at least another foot of snow... Not looking forward to digging us out of this.

Quote of the Day

Kate, reading Wendy's blog over my shoulder 'They canceled the winter storm warning???'
Me 'Yes, we have an official blizzard now, it is more severe.'
Kate, startled 'Does this mean we are going to be stuck in the house the whole day????'
Tara 'Of course! Did you think we were going to go out clothes shopping????'

I guess clothes shopping has been canceled today too ^^

Six Inches and counting

Yes, snow definitely has started. We are up to about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) and it will be coming down till around 6am tomorrow morning. We have been upgraded to a Blizzard warning. All the picutures have been made this morning, within the last half hour.

Blizzard Warning

Statement as of 4:20 AM EST on February 14, 2007

The National Weather Service in gray has issued a Blizzard Warning... which is in effect until 5 am EST Thursday. The Winter Storm Warning has been cancelled.

Snowfall totals will range from 8 to 12 inches along the coast and 16 to 24 inches in the mountains and foothills today through late tonight. Sleet and freezing rain may mix with the snow at times near the coast. A thunderstorm is also possible.

East to northeast winds will gust to 40 mph at times... especially along the immediate coast and in the higher terrain. The heavy snowfall combined with blowing snow will result in blizzard conditions from later this afternoon into the late evening hours. This will cause extremely dangerous travel conditions.

Power outages may also occur due to the combination of strong winds and heavy accumulations of snow on power lines and tree limbs.

The kids have been entertaining themselves indoors, although Tim went outside to go sledding. He had fun, but said it was very cold.

Luckily we got all the fixings for a Valentine's Day party, which seems a perfect way to spend a blizzardy day. All our normal activities have been canceled. No LLL meeting. No homeschool meeting. No aikido. Heck, I won't even go out geocaching!

Over the last few days, I have been digging through old posts and added some to my blog. I started blogging in 1993, but I thought it would be nice for the kids to have some older history too. Check out the 1998 and 1999 archives to see what I came up with. I hope to add a lot more of those older ones, and if I get really organized, I will add more pictures too (bwahahaha, me and organized!)

Early this morning, Tim said he was going outside, so Sylvia added that she was going outside too. I told her it was really cold outside and that she might want to re-think that. She told me reassuringly 'It's ok, mama, I'll get the moon outside!'

Heh!? That was a new one, I guess she knows that something warms up the Earth, but is mixing up sun and moon? Sometimes I wish I would know what goes on in her head.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lucky Us...

Winter Storm Warning

Statement as of 9:41 PM EST on February 13, 2007

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 3 am Wednesday to 6 am EST Thursday.

Snowfall totals will range from 8 to 14 inches along the coast and 18 to 30 inches in the mountains and foothills from late tonight through Wednesday night.

The heavy snowfall combined with blowing snow will result in near white-out conditions across the region.

Travel on the snow covered roads will be very dangerous. Travel may be nearly impossible during the height of the storm and significant delays of transportation of all types is likely. Heavy snow will quickly accumulate on roadways and significantly hamper travel. Some secondary roads may be untreated. Those that have to be out on the roads will need to use extreme caution and allow plenty of extra time.

Power outages may also occur due to the combination of strong winds and heavy accumulations of snow on power lines and tree limbs.

Geocaching Pictures

Today we were supposed to go caching, but it was soooooooooooo cold that I decided to get ready for the storm instead. We spent time at the local grocery coop and we enjoyed a cup of tea and ice cream in their cafe. We made sure to stock up on lots of junk food candy chocolate food for tomorrow's Valentine's Day Party, since homeschool club and LLL meeting are being canceled.

Sharing some more geocaching pictures of this weekend's trip.

One of the caches was beyond evil, it was a very sneaky hide. It took us THREE phone calls to a friend, each one more frantically, and another phone call to the owner of the cache before we finally solved the mystery. Makes you wonder how the heck people ever could go geocaching before cell phones existed! ^^

And yes, it was one of those caches where it said 'hide difficulty is 4, very hard' , we figured that wouldn't be a problem for experienced cachers like we are... We spent an obscene amount of time on that one cache, getting more and more desperate and discouraged. So much for being experienced geocachers ^^

But hey! I did finish all 37 map pages! I rock ^^ I got the coordinates for the final, but will wait till after the weekend to find it, I think.

I love the way this challenge has gotten me out all through Vermont, seeing lots of interesting spots.

BTW, Math Mom was asking about geocaching in the winter. Yes, snow does interfere, we tend to take more care with our cache selections in the winter than we do in the summer. If there is a snow flake in the attributes, it is supposed to be a winter friendly cache.

Look for easy terrain. Look for urban micros. Read recent logs and see how hard it was to find it in the snow. Heck, wait till someone ELSE finds it in the snow and follow their tracks before the next snow storm ^^

Winter makes it harder to go caching, but by no means impossible at all. A good tip to find caches under the snow: take ski poles. It makes it a lot easier to locate a cache when you hear that unmistakable sound of a metal ammo box under your pole.

I just checked, I have done more than 42 caches since January 1st, so winter definitely hasn't been holding me back from caching. And when we have the occasional DNF... Oh well, at least it got us outside in the nice crispy air, instead of stuck inside, suffering from cabin fever.